Editor’s Note: Parents.com has partnered with LearnVest.com to bring you a monthly series of posts about money-related topics related to moms. These guest posts will be shorter, edited versions of longer features from LearnVest.com.
As a mom, you know just how accident-prone and fragile kids can be. Cuts, scratches, scrapes, skinned knees, and bumps to the noggin’ are all frequent players on your “must fix” list. And there’s nothing worse than having to play Dr. Mom without having all of the needed medical supplies to heal your little patient.
Setting up a first-aid kit now for your home and your car will save time (you can quickly attend to injuries), money (no middle-of-the-night runs to the insanely expensive convenience store), and a whole lot of tears.
Keep these drugstore staples on hand and you’ll be ready for anything your active kid can throw your way.
1. Bandages and Gauze Pads
Your kit should include bandages in a variety of sizes. These little stickies help protect wounds from reinjury, hide scary-looking cuts, and magically make tears disappear. Before you spring for the more expensive character bandages, a little DIY craftiness can save money. Buy plain bandages and then decorate them with your child’s name, silly drawings, or stickers once they’re in use. Gauze pads will come in handy for more serious wounds (don’t forget the tape). You can also use them when applying ointments or cleaning agents. When purchasing gauze pads, bigger is better. You can always cut the pad if you need a smaller size.
Speaking of cutting, a good pair of sharp scissors is a necessity. In addition to cutting gauze, you may also need to cut other material, like clothing, during an emergency. Regular scissors are fine, as long as they’re sharp enough to cut gauze, clothing, etc.
3. Cold/Hot Packs
Hot and cold packs can relieve swelling and reduce the pain of minor injuries. Because you’re not guaranteed to have access to ice or hot water or a heating pad, stock up on the instant cold and hot packs (like this one) that you squeeze to activate.
4. Pain Medication/Fever Reliever
Pain is a big deal to little kids, so it’s always a good idea to have a children’s pain reliever around to reduce fevers and calm headaches, teething pain, and minor sprains and strains. Remember, aspirin isn’t recommended for kids, so the best choices are children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
For kids with food allergies, it can be difficult to make sure no forbidden foods ever slip through. If your child does consume something she has a slight allergy to, an oral antihistamine can reduce a potential reaction, says Emily Tuerk, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Even if your kid doesn’t have food allergies, it’s still a good idea to have an antihistamine on hand. “Oral antihistamines and topical antihistamine creams can lessen the reaction to insect stings or bites,” says Dr. Tuerk. They can also decrease symptoms of hives, poison ivy, and other skin reactions.
This standard beauty supply isn’t only for plucking stray hairs from your eyebrows. Tweezers come in handy to remove splinters, glass, insect stingers, ticks, or even candy. (You know, for when your 3-year-old decides to put a piece of candy up his nose.)
Pacifiers May Have Emotional Consequences for Boys
Pacifiers may stunt the emotional development of baby boys by robbing them of the opportunity to try on facial expressions during infancy. (via Science Daily)
‘SimplyThick’ a Risk to All Infants, FDA Cautions
A product used to help infants with difficulty swallowing could increase their risk of developing a life-threatening illness, the Food and Drug Administration warned Tuesday. (via CNN)
Longer Exercise Provides Added Benefit to Children’s Health
Twenty minutes of daily, vigorous physical activity over just three months can reduce a child’s risk of diabetes as well as his total body fat — including dangerous, deep abdominal fat — but 40 minutes works even better, researchers report. (via Science Daily)
Study Shows Almost Half of Children with Autism Victimized by Bullies
A recent study shows that children with autism are more than four times as likely to be the victims of bullying than their typically developing siblings. (via The Washington Post)
Teens Follow Parents Example in Texting and Driving
According to a recent study, 78% of teens have seen their parents text and drive. (via TODAY)
Recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion with the new Concussion Recognition and Response app ($3.99) from Safe Kids USA. Using information from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), two experts, Gerard A. Gioia, Ph.D., and Jason Mihalik, Ph.D., created the app to help parents and coaches in the event a child experiences a home- or sports-related injury.
In just a few minutes, complete a checklist to determine if symptoms are serious enough for immediate medical attention. Parents can also record a child’s health information (name, age, gender, sport played), take photos of the injury, and share all the information via email with health care professionals for proper treatment and follow-up. Plus, the app offers tips on how a child can safely return to regular sports or exercise routines after an injury.
Cold and flu season is upon us, and this week’s spotlight on influenza vaccinations is a perfect reminder to take your child to the pediatrician for a flu vaccine (if you haven’t done so already). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2011-2012 flu vaccine will safeguard against three viruses: influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H2N2), and influenza B.
Getting the flu vaccine will protect your family and loved ones from worse symptoms. Read more about the importance of getting a flu vaccine below.
Here are more resources recommended by Shot of Prevention, a community blog that brings you the latest news and guidelines about immunizations, which recently hosted a conference call (sponsored by Every Child by Two and Families Fighting Flu) to raise awareness about flu vaccines.
You all know WebMD as the trusted site for all health-related issues. Now, WebMD and Sanford Health (the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the U.S.) have partnered to create fit, a colorful and dynamic new website just for kids that will motivate them to be aware of their fitness, health, and nutrition.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the CDC, 12.5 million (17%) children and teens between ages 2-18 are obese and suffering from related health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. To help parents, health professionals, and educators become more aware of the increasing obesity issue, the fit website is tailored to three age groups. fit Junior is for ages 2-7, fit Kids is for ages 8-12, and fit Teens is for ages 13-19. Each site focuses on four categories of living a healthy lifestyle: food, move, mood, and recharge.
By playing games and activities, taking quizzes, and watching videos aimed for each age group, kids will learn how to increase nutritional, physical, emotional, and restorative fitness. Kids will be taught why a healthy life is important and how to achieve overall well-being. Eating the right foods, making sure to exercise, and getting enough sleep will go a long way in decreasing obesity and increasing energy.
For parents, the site Raising Fit Kids will also offer more information on help kids remain fit and happy.
Kids’ eyes are exposed more to the sun and to UV rays during the summer season. Coastal Contacts, an online supplier of contact lenses and sunglasses, shares some quick and helpful tips on how to protect your child’s eyes for the remaining days of summer and all year long.
Have your children wear protective eyewear. This includes glasses and contacts any time your eyes may be exposed to UV light. Even on cloudy days, UV rays still cause damage. When wearing UV-protected contact lenses, sunglasses should also be worn to protect the areas that are not covered by the lenses.
Purchase quality sunglasses (UVA/B Protected) for your children. Choose sunglasses that have protective lenses. Good sunglasses block out 99-100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation in addition to blocking out 75-90 percent of visible light.
Pay attention to the lens color. Gray-colored lenses provide the best natural color vision. They reduce intensity of light without altering the color of objects.
Purchase glasses with large lenses. Glasses that fit close to the eyes and wrap slightly around the head offer the most protection against harmful rays.
Inspect your children’s glasses before buying. Lenses should be perfectly matched in color and free from distortion and imperfection.